Pakistan is routinely called "the most dangerous country in the world." How it got that way is not the focus of much scrutiny. Much of history is forgotten or never told. The United States has supported military dictatorships in Pakistan. The current ruler, Pervez Musharraf, who seized power in a coup in 1999, is a favorite of Washington's. He is an ally in the so-called war on terror. Billions of dollars in aid flow to Islamabad, almost all of it goes to the military. Musharraf demonstrates his dedication to democracy by illegally changing the country's constitution, arresting peaceful protestors, sacking and imprisoning judges and lawyers, and gagging the media. The State Department excuses these actions as "bumps on the road." For Washington, Pakistan and its 165 million people are seen as instruments to further its geopolitical aims.